Home > Uncategorized > The Canadian Museum of Nature – August 19th

The Canadian Museum of Nature – August 19th

Thursday August 19th, 2010 – Team Pickerel Frog

By: Team Pickerel Frog (JunYan Wang, MengQi Xing, David “Beer” Chang, Kimberly Dubarry)

Today we were delighted to wake up to the heavenly smell of freshly baked banana bread, a variety of hand-cut fruit and cereal.  As mentioned by the previous teams, the meals at QUBS have been exceptional.  Immediately after breakfast, we were all full of energy and ready to begin our day.
This morning we were privileged to visit the Canadian Museum of Nature – Research Faculty located at 1740 Pink Road in Gatineau, Quebec.  Roger Bull, an MSc graduate from Queen’s University, along with our professors and TAs arranged for an exclusive tour of 6 collections within the research center.  The research team in the museum focuses primarily on the natural sciences.   The entire center has a collection totally approximately 10 ½ million specimens,

Research scientist Lynn Gillespie discussing the CMN plant collections.

ranging from diatoms to dinosaurs. Surprisingly, the botany collection is the larger than the insect collection consisting mainly of new world scarabs.  The research building originally was divided into separate sites but moved to one main building when space ran out.  The new building was constructed 14 years ago containing research labs, collections and all the research resources.  This has proved to be a lot more convenient, and makes it much easier for researchers to collaborate and consult with each other.

The 3D Laser Camera was one of the more interesting sections of our visit. It has an advanced laser that uses air to move back and forth across objects such as bones and other specimen parts to scan them. The image is scanned and then transferred to computer software.  The software combines several individual scans using related points on the image of the original object to combine it into one complete image.   The researchers are able to recreate the objects using a 3D printing system to display in the museum.  This technology provides a revolutionary way of analyzing objects and making the specimens more accessible to the public and other researchers.

We also visited the collections for invertebrates, plants, insects, large skeletons, earth sciences, fossil specimen, and the DNA Lab.

Class outside of the CMN collections facility.

In the invertebrate collection, they research conservation issues such as the impact of zebra mussels on freshwater clams.  This research is something we have discussed and learned about firsthand in the field course.

A large part of the research in the insect collection focuses on morphological characteristics. Moving forward, it may be beneficial to find efficient methods to collect DNA data of the various specimens.  Creating an archive of DNA information will increase our scientific knowledge and definitely be a step in the right direction.

The DNA Lab is where the research center assesses genetic diversity and assists researchers with their molecular analyses.  We learned about the importance DNA barcoding, which is a database of genetic information for all specimen.   Overall, the research center was a fantastic experience.
After we left the Research Faculty for the Canadian Museum of Nature, we headed for lunch.  Majority of the Canadian students ate poutine, beavertails, and maple syrup with the Chinese classmates.  We walked down the beautiful streets of downtown Ottawa and perused the market.   We moseyed on by Parliament Hill and took pictures from our bus windows.  Our bus driver was very comical and was a great tour guide!

The vertebrate osteology collection.

Our last destination was the Victoria Memorial Museum Building which is home to the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Our blood began to pump faster as we paced through the elegant and elaborate Museum galleries.  Today was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Go Team Pickerel Frog!

上午7点45,我们前往位于安大略省的加拿大国家自然博物馆,该博物馆始建于1996年。博物馆里藏有从1776年至今的上万件藏品,加拿大70%的动植物标本的保存在这里。作为特殊的邀请,博物馆向我们开放了平时不对外开放的3D实验室,DNA研究中心和标本存放中心。

研究中心部分位于渥太华郊区,一共由7个本分组成。我们一行人冒着实验室的低温,瑟缩着结队进入各个实验室和标本馆。首先进入到3D实验室,虽然以前大家都听说过,但还是第一次亲眼看见这些动画和3D图像时如何合成的,而从扫描一直到最后标本的制成,起速度也让我们大家惊叹。扫描台上通过镭射光扫描,在中央处理器上即可出现对应的表面的图形,同时也可准确的表现被扫描物的颜色。然后将若干表面图形合成,传输到制模机上,片刻即可制成相应模型。

另外还有无脊椎动物馆,馆内的甲虫数量令人惊叹,我们还看见了手掌大的独角仙,另外有意思的是,馆内有很多甲壳类的动物来自于有恋物癖的人的私人收藏,他们收集大量的贝壳和海螺,等他们去世或者治疗成功就将这些东西捐赠给博物馆。

Obama cookies are apparently a big thing. Who knew?

接下来我们陆续参观了脊椎动物,远古动物和植物标本馆,看到了灭绝的巨型水獭,以及古骆驼的骨骼,还有长达5米的蓝鲸下颌骨!同时也了解了很多植物标本的制作流程,无论是有花植物还是其他植物,大多都沿用着传统的制作方法,但是这些古老的馆藏在当代研究中也发挥着巨大的作用。因为在DNA实验室中,这些植物携带的基因可用于鉴定的基础,来诊断现代植物的遗传与变异等问题。

下午我们终于来到市区的展馆部分,展馆部分分为海洋馆,哺乳动物馆,鸟类馆等多个场馆,为了增加市民与自然科技的互动,每一个场馆都设有各种互动游戏,同时还设立了儿童专区,例如森林医生等等,让儿童从小能够更多的和这些场景经常接触。哺乳动物馆内,我们也终于看见了传说中的蓝鲸全副骨骼,该骨骼占据了哺乳动物馆的二分之一。

加拿大自然博物馆立足于加拿大与北美的自然物候,无论是动物植物还是相关的土壤和矿石,都立足于本土,做到能充分的体现加拿大的自然情况。例如大量的水獭和雪狐等加拿大境内的特色物种,在馆内都有较全面的展现。

下午的自由活动,加拿大学生带领中国学生,充分体验了加拿大风情。我们还到了“奥巴马面包店”购买了“奥巴马曲奇”,品尝了枫糖浆等传统加拿大美食。作为走出生物站,这是团队第一次在加拿大体验当地风情,期待这样的体验还能更多。

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